|© UNICEF video|
|Cyclone-affected children at a UNICEF-supported child-friendly space in the Anosizato camp in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.|
By Fatratra Andriamasinoro & Susanna Mullard
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 15 April 2008 – Malagasy rap star and UNICEF Junior Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa 'Name Six' visited young victims of cyclone Ivan recently here in Madagascar’s capital city.
Narcisse Randrianarivony, popularly known as Name Six, toured UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces, which have been set up to provide children and their families with a variety services such as basic health care, education, and access to safe water and adequate sanitation. Walking around the child-friendly space at the Anosizato camp, the young rapper was was delighted to see children benefiting from these interventions.
“I came here today to encourage my peers, but already I see so much positivity here,” he said. “The best thing is that children have been so involved in setting up the different parts of the camp. I really think that this space has encouraged young people, flood victims or not, to contribute to their communities and feel more involved.”
|© UNICEF video|
|Junior Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa 'Name Six' visited child-friendly spaces in Madagascar for children who have been affected by Cyclone Ivan.|
Providing protection and recreation
The spaces, which are set up in collaboration with the Government of Madagascar and non-governmental organizations, also provide protection from abuse and recreation as the children work to return to normalcy. And while the children are playing and learning, their parents are able to devote themselves more fully to rebuilding their lives.
In order to ensure that the child-friendly spaces run as efficiently as possible, volunteer social workers have been recruited by local authorities to manage activities and provide extra care.
Some volunteers organize games and leisure activities, while others are on hand to provide one-on-one counselling to help children recover from the natural disaster.
Rebuilding lives and homes
“Children are, as always, part of the most vulnerable in an emergency,” said UNICEF Representative in Madagascar Bruno Maes. “Child-friendly spaces offer a protective environment to children traumatized by the recent flooding and destruction of their homes.”
With more than 330,000 people known to have been affected by Cyclone Ivan alone, the child-friendly spaces are just one of UNICEF’s many interventions to help ensure that the basic rights of children and women are fulfilled.
“It is a way to restore normalcy and to offer children the possibility to express themselves through a creative approach,” said Mr. Maes.
UNICEF correspondent Susanna Mullard reports on the visit by UNICEF Junior Goodwill Ambassador Name Six to a child-friendly school that is helping children recover from Cyclone Ivan.
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